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The Ohio Department of Aging

Ohio Department of Aging Aging and Disability Resource Network

In Ohio, as in many states, long-term supports and services are administered by multiple agencies and have complex, fragmented and often duplicative intake, assessment and eligibility functions. For the consumer, figuring out how to obtain long term services and supports is confusing. Over many years, across many service delivery systems, consumers have repeatedly asked for a single, consistent, reliable way to access services.

In response to that plea, the federal government, through a partnership between the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), developed the concept of an Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC). As conceived at the federal level, the ADRC is intended to act as an entry point to the system of long-term services and supports.

Ohio first received a grant to develop an ADRC in 2005, piloted in Cuyahoga County through Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging. Rather than creating a single-point of entry into the long-term system, Ohio’s approach is to create an Aging and Disability Resource Network (ADRN). The network approach recognizes that individuals may access long-term services and supports in many different ways, through many different organizations. The goal is to ensure that no matter where a consumer first makes contact with the service delivery system, it’s the right place for them to be.  The ADRN brings together the diverse organizations that play a role in long-term services and supports to streamline access to services for the consumer.

In 2008, the Unified Long-term Care Workgroup presented recommendations to the legislature on how to build a cost-effective, consumer friendly long-term services and supports system. Included in those recommendations is a “Front Door” to long-term services and supports that builds on the principles of an Aging and Disability Resource Network. The emphasis of the front door is on behind-the-scenes collaboration and cooperation among the many organizations that may provide information to consumers about long-term services and supports. Designed as a “no wrong door” system, Ohio’s twelve Area Agencies on Aging are charged with developing the regional collaboration to ensure success of the front door.

In 2009, Ohio received a second grant from the Administration on Aging to expand the Aging and Disability Resource Network statewide. The grant is being used to further the goals of the front door by facilitating collaboration among regional partners and developing the tools and processes that will streamline access to services for consumers.